Thursday, January 29, 2009

Happy 2nd Birthday, Carter!

So hard to believe that my baby boy is ...
A. No longer a baby and
B. Turned 2 yesterday (January 30)!

A few pictures from his first birthday - there are 2 different cakes because he had a "family" party and a "friends" party.

Look at those cheeks ... I forgot how chubby they were!

And now for his second birthday ... complete with an "Emmo" cake :)

Carter is just growing by leaps and bounds lately. Every day he comes up with new words, new songs, new things that he understands, and new signs of "maturity" (like walking through the mall with mommy without the stroller and just holding hands ... without darting away!) It's so fun watching him grow and develop ... it seems like it's been a long time since we went through this stage with Audrey.

We thank God for him every day (and for his sister too!)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Mixed emotions

Late last week I got an official looking envelope from the Phoenixville Area School District ... full of kindergarten registration information. Over the past year I thought that I would be excited to get this packet, but when it arrived and I opened and looked it over, I have to admit ... it made me sad! That surprised me. In some ways I have been so ready for Audrey to begin school. I know she is ready in every way to be a kindergartener - mentally, emotionally, physically, etc. - she will actually turn six on the day before school begins next fall! - but I guess for me it just signifies a large loss of "control" over her life. She will be spending increasing time away from home. She will be riding a bus. She will be in an environment that may not always support our beliefs. She will play with kids that I don't know, and whose parents I don't know. She won't be able to just go away to the shore in September like we've been doing for the last couple years. Again, these things are not bad, per se, but it just reminds me that my little girl is becoming a BIG girl. That she will need me less and less. That she will rely on herself more and more.

And with that comes mixed emotions for this mommy.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Happy Anniversary, Late...

On January 6, Chad and I "celebrated" our 8th anniversary. I put celebrated in quotes because we really didn't celebrate then... although I will fess up and say that while Chad had a card and flowers for me on our actual anniversary, I had nothing for him. So sentimental of me, I know. :( However, we had already decided that we would go away for a night later in January to celebrate, so I kind of considered that my opportunity to celebrate, and I did have a card for him then, lest you think I'm a total loser!

Here is a picture from our wedding day, January 6, 2001 - excuse the grainy photo, but I took a picture of a picture so that I would have something to put up here. This was before the days of digital photography ... It was a cold but beautiful day. My greatest fear was that the Chicago weather would prevent someone important from attending, but despite a record snowfall that December, the weather that week cooperated, and everyone made it!

And here I am 8 years later, pregnant with my 3rd child. Hard to believe how much has changed.

So ... for our anniversary, my parents came to our house and watched our kids overnight while Chad and I traveled to Philly for the night. We stayed at a brand new hotel downtown, went out for a fabulous dinner at Roy's (which sounds like a cheap diner, but is an awesome "Hawaiian Fusion" restaurant), slept like babies in a comfy bed with no kids to wake us up, and then ventured to the Phila. Museum of Art the following day. It was great!

Outside of the Art Museum

And here is Chad by the "Rocky" statue. I tried to convince him to hold his arms up in the air
like Rocky but he was too cool for that. :)

So thankful for the chance to get away. As I said to Chad - it will probably be a few years before we get to go away overnight again!

So I haven't posted in awhile. This is mostly because I have been quite tired and grouchy for a good part of January. I actually started a post last week and then decided that if I didn't have something nice to say, I shouldn't say it at all. And I was getting tired of hearing myself whine on top of it. :) But Carter is sleeping better these days, I am renewing my attitude with God's help, and sickness has left the household, at least for now! So hopefully I will be posting more in the following weeks.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Christmas Morning

Just adding some pictures from Christmas morning. Looking back at these, I remember feeling very excited for the kids, but oh-so TIRED. I am hoping that one Christmas I will wake up and feel relaxed and well-rested. Maybe in 10 years or so? Please, veteran moms, say it's so! Anyhow, the last few Christmases have included pregnancies, nursing babies, toddlers who wake up at night, and/or gearing up to travel for 7 hours in the car on the day after Christmas (again, with said small children, whom I adore but who just do not sleep on car trips, which makes for some LONG trips!)

Okay, enough of my pity party. All that being said, we had a GREAT Christmas. Audrey was SO excited. I think this was the best year for watching her enjoy the whole Christmas season. Carter was oblivious and not into opening presents but nonetheless - once those presents were opened, he was totally into all the toys!

We have kind of made it a tradition over the last few years to "check for footprints" on our fireplace step, and once again, Santa obliged. He also ate up our cookies and milk, and I'm sure his reindeer enjoyed eating the food we left on the roof!

I love this picture, it's one of my favorites from Christmas this year.

Eating our breakfast ...

Getting set to open up presents! Allison, I made it into a few pictures!

Audrey's Lucky Ducks game, which many of you have promised that we will regret owning. Well, so far, I'm not too bothered by it (especially because it is one of the shortest games in the world!!)

Carter loves his little matchbox cars (especially setting them upside down and spinning them ... yes, he's a little strange about spinning things!!!)

Carter got a big ball, which he proceeded to take directly to the steps to throw it down. If you come visit us, watch your step ... there are always an abundance of toys right next to the front door that Carter has thrown down the stairs. He takes great delight in watching everything bounce its way down.

Around noon, we headed to my parents' house for more present opening. We don't have too many pictures of this part of the day since Chad got a new camera and yanked all the batteries out of our old one and got busy playing with his new "toy".

We spent Christmas night at my parents' and then left the next morning to drive to Buffalo, NY to visit Chad's family. I'm sure I'll have more pictures to post from Christmas, Part II with the Smith clan!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Christmas Eve

Sorry, I'm going to overdo it with the photos again ... we spent Christmas Eve at home with my parents and brother and we all attended our church's Christmas Eve service together. This was a day filled with excitement for two certain little people in our house .... well, really just one. Carter was pretty oblivious to it all!

Audrey opens a "special" present from Mom-Mom & Pop-Pop ... a Santa that sings Jingle Bells!

... which was played over and over and over again by Carter, who has fallen in love with this Santa! You can see the adoration already.

At some point in the evening, Carter went over to the tree with his cookie and milk, and laid underneath it, looking up at all the lights. It was really cute.

Daddy gives the kids a pony ride. That's my brother Andy in the background.

The kids with my parents. A rare photo where everyone is looking, and looking happy about being in a picture! :)

Audrey & Daddy

Audrey doing "cheers" with Pop-Pop (it is just sparkling grape juice lest you think I am corrupting the morals of a child ....)

After the kids went to bed, Chad and I got all the gifts out and set out the ones from "Santa."
I was excited to see the kids' faces the next morning ...

Part II - "Christmas Day" coming soon ....